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Remember: Book Review

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Book Review

This is my first book review on here and it may be the simplest book review ever: Read it. The book is called “The Lehigh Valley A Natural and Environmental History and was written by Robert Halma and Carl Oplinger. I stumbled upon it doing a search on Amazon and I am very glad to have found it.

The book begins with history. First our geologic history and second our more recent human history. Both sections are thick with information and serve a great review to those who are familiar with our histories. Better still, they serve as an excellent and thorough introduction to those readers who are new to it.

The book then opens itself into the natural world with a study of our weather, and our climate. There are wonderful Metrologic details in here and some of them will serve as ends to familiar local weather arguments. A fantastic monthly guide to climatologic patterns is presented in Chapter Five that is worth the price of the book alone.

A very important and timely chapter about native vegetation follows as a lead in to the agricultural aspects of the Valley. The next few chapters go into detailed descriptions of our local ecosystems and the organisms that define them. An entire chapter here is dedicated to the familiar and some unfamiliar animal faces of our fragmented forests.

This book is the guide to the wilds that surround us. With wonderful technique Halma and Oplinger write a compelling (and page turning, for me) book that takes its reader on a genuine journey through the wilds in our Valley. With the upcoming plans in our parks many of these chapters have a special resonance. The language is written intelligently but is not so bogged down with scientific language that the book is accessible to anyone.

When you reach the end, it will be hard to not walk around pointing out invasive species and trying to identify whatever wildlife you come across on a day’s journey. I thank Halma and Oplinger for creating a book like this because the Valley needs more of them. Go read it.



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